Local Politics

Local Tax Options to Appear on Ballots

Posted August 22, 2007

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— Voters in at least 20 North Carolina counties will get to decide ballot questions this fall on whether to impose new taxes to pay for new schools, roads and water and sewer lines.

State lawmakers included provisions in the new state budget for counties to seek voter approval for either a 0.25-cent local sales tax or a 0.4 percent levy on real estate sales to generate money for infrastructure needed to keep pace with growth.

Realtors fought the land transfer tax in the General Assembly, and they said they plan to take their battle to the counties.

"What we're going to see at the local level is (that) folks who are going to be directly impacted by this tax are going to be telling elected officials that this is a bad idea," said Rick Zechini, director of regulatory affairs for the North Carolina Association of Realtors. "The message is the same: It's an unfair tax."

Referenda will be placed on ballots in Chatham, Johnston, Harnett, and Moore counties. Officials in Durham and Orange counties are considering whether to put tax questions on their ballots.

Wake County officials have decided not to pursue the tax options this year.

"We have not had enough of what I would call a community debate and discussion about (it)," Wake County Commissioner Joe Bryan said.

A land transfer tax would generate an estimated $40 million a year in Wake County, while a local sales tax would bring in about $30 million a year, officials said. A blue ribbon commission that studied local growth issues last year recommended the sales tax idea as one option for extra revenue.

"We will do it, but the timing I don't think is right at this time," Bryan said.

Bond proposals to raise money for Wake Tech, libraries and open-space preservation already will appear on the Wake County ballot this fall, he said, adding that local voters approved a $970 million school bond last November.

"There is not support in our community for either one of these (county-option taxes) at this time," he said.


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  • -info- Aug 23, 2007

    how about putting on the ballot yes/no...reduce the school board by half and divert the funds to schools.......

  • ncwebguy Aug 23, 2007

    Who do you pay a sleep tax to? The sandman? The tooth fairy?
    The property taxes you paid put police officers on the street, educated the area's youth to prepare them for high-earning jobs, etc.

    The garbage bill is not taxed. It is a tax collected to pay for water, sewer, garbage removal and recycling.

    Is anyone *not* making a profit on the sale of their house? What did you do to earn that? I could understand expansions and improvements, but is anyone individually making the area a more attractive place to move, and thus driving up the price of real estate?

    No. That is being accomplished by all that "wasteful spending" on schools, roads, police, etc. A lot of that goes to subsidize new subdivisions that aren't paying their way due to real estate interests and their puppets in local, county, and state government.

    Voting no for the transfer tax will CONTINUE the practice of lining real estate agents and developers' pockets while everyone else pays for their actions.

  • Nobody but Carolina Aug 23, 2007

    I don't see a need for either now or in the future. The reason being is Wake County is doing their revaluation of homes and properties at this point that would go in to effect with the 2008 tax year. That's right, higher property value to calculate your property tax off of.

  • whatelseisnew Aug 23, 2007

    NO NEW TAXES. Anyone that thinks this will keep other taxes from being increased is just buying in to more lies from the liars that occupy all levels of our government. As to why the transfer tax is unfair, as a homeowner I have been paying property taxes all along and have put up with waste, fraud and abuse at every level of government in North Carolina. If I decide to sell my property, and move elsewhere I should not have to put up with the government stealing more of my money. There is nothing that I do that does not get taxed. Eat, Sleep, drive to work. Buy clothes, buy food, buy anything. Phone bill tax, Electric bill tax. Garbage bill tax. Enough is enough. Some of you need to wake up out there. If you want to pay more, do the rest of us a favor. Write out a check every month and send it on in. I would like to keep my money to pay for my needs and my family and give to charities of my choice.

  • pc35man Aug 22, 2007

    The people we elect at all levels of government need to take a serious look at all these multi million dollar tax breaks they are giving big business. These breaks are short lived and cost us who work hard for every penny we make. I see to many unfair taxes passed by those we elect to serve their own self interest or the interest of a select few. The tax burden is being placed on the shoulders of the middle class worker who are getting to the point that we cannot pay anymore. Close the loop holes and let everyone pay their fair share.

  • mod one Aug 22, 2007

    Well said, RoadGeek.

  • OpinionOnEverything Aug 22, 2007

    Will someone please tell me what is "unfair" about the transfer tax? If you don't want to pay it, you just stay put. I can see why the realtors and homebuilders are opposed to it. They build thousands of throwaway homes out of plywood and cheap materials that last maybe 10 years, then it's off to the new subdivision across the road. Realtors and builders love this practice of house hopping since it keeps them busy year round building more and more throwaway houses, straining our infrastructure and tearing down our forests to make a quick buck.

    If it would help slow down this wasteful practice, a transfer tax might be better than raising everyone's sales and property taxes to support continued greed of the realtors and homebuilders in this area.

  • Nancy Aug 22, 2007

    "We have not had enough of what I would call a community debate and discussion about (it)," Wake County Commissioner Joe Bryan said.

    READ: "We haven't had enough time to get supporters to fund this new tax option, and it would fly in the face of the 1/4 penny reduction in sales tax we just gave back this year. We had promised the sales tax increase was going to be temporary and then we only gave back 1/4 cent of that, so it's really hard to ask them to give it back - again.

    And we just don't have the nerve to tick of developers and impose impact fees or refuse them building permits unless we have adequate public facilities.

    But we really do need to wait, we need to address the public and get them to read all the newspaper full page ads that we'll get funded from our friends.

    We'll put this on the 2009 ballots. "

  • NoToIllegals Aug 22, 2007

    Pad those silk pockets.


  • WRALSUCKS Aug 22, 2007

    Just remember...it's for the children!!!!!!!!!!